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Lake District Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

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While the Lake District is known worldwide for its majestic mountains, sky-blue waters, and sprawling woodland, it might not have quite the same reputation for shopping. But if you’re planning a trip, you can rest assured that throughout the lakes you’ll be able to browse local wares as well as sightsee. From charming tokens to adorn your walls and windowsills to tasty treats to savour later, you’ll leave well stocked and thoroughly satisfied.
Windermere

 

 

In addition to a strong selection of shops selling arts, crafts, and souvenirs of all shapes and sizes, Windermere is pretty much bursting with culinary treasures waiting to be taken home and shared among friends – or scoffed in private. It's known for its seafood restaurants, while the shelves of several niche shops are heavy with regional sausages, not to mention jams, relishes, and pickles. Boasting its own railway station, Windermere is easy to get to and from. And if you fancy a doughy snack on the move, there are plenty of fine bakeries scattered about.

 

Ambleside

 

 

For a properly quaint shopping experience, Ambleside is pretty much as good as it gets. A small town relatively untouched by the corporate world, it’s home to a delightful bundle of independent shops and boutiques selling anything from sheepskin specialities and garden furniture to signed memorabilia and quality china. You can expect splendid examples of artwork capturing the allure of the local area, as well as bookshops and countless outdoor pursuit stores. The town has plenty of great places to eat and drink, making for a perfect place to stop and breathe before going on to tour more of the lakes and fells.

 

Ullswater

 

 

Ullswater is often called one of the UK’s most beautiful lakes, and when you're not drinking in the views, you can wander the nearby villages of Glenridding and Pooley Bridge. In Glenridding you can browse evocative artwork produced by local hands, before stocking up on some good-quality climbing gear and scaling Helvellyn – England’s third largest mountain. Throughout much of the year, Pooley Bridge hosts a bustling weekly famers market, piled high with sumptuous local treats and enticing crafts. Like Glenridding, Pooley Bridge offers outdoor clothing and camping gear with expert advice on hand.

 

Penrith

 

 

If you're after high street brands and designer labels, the market town of Penrith is just less than a 3-mile drive from the borders of the Lake District National Park. Not only home to a big bunch of designer giants, this historic centre has an intriguing variety of independent boutiques and specialist stores catering to even the most eclectic tastes. Whether you’re in the market for a trolley-load of finely crafted community-inspired gifts and mementos, or bargain fashion to liven up your wardrobe, you won’t be disappointed. You can also find a decent selection of antiques and trinkets to give your home that rustic touch.